Communities In Schools of San Fernando Valley, Inc.
Numerous national and international leaders including Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Dr. Jane Goodall, Al Gore and Barbara Boxer have recognized the work of Blinky and CIS. CIS violence prevention and intervention practices have been replicated in the USA, Germany, Tanzania, England and South Africa. In 1998, Blinky received the Medaille d’Excellence, presented in Switzerland to only 14 people worldwide in conjuncti
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Numerous national and international leaders including Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Dr. Jane Goodall, Al Gore and Barbara Boxer have recognized the work of Blinky and CIS. CIS violence prevention and intervention practices have been replicated in the USA, Germany, Tanzania, England and South Africa. In 1998, Blinky received the Medaille d’Excellence, presented in Switzerland to only 14 people worldwide in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Blinky has earned over eighty-three awards for his work. He was selected by LA Mayor James Hahn, A&E Television and their Biography series as a 2002 Biography Community Hero for his service to LA. Blinky and the staff of CIS were featured in the November 2002 Reader's Digest article on "Everyday Heroes". In 2003, he received the Angel of Peace Award from the Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater LA, The SFV Interfaith Council Human Relations Award, Simon Bolivar Liberty Award and was appointed by Mayor Hahn to The Commission for Children, Youth & Their Families. The following is a sample of our achievements:
Helped reduce gang-related deaths from 62 to 2 in one year
Connected over 1300 youths with mentors
Helped place 554 people in jobs
Helped place 220 people in college
Conducted over 252 Sports Events with over 11,000 participants
Conducted over 106 Peace Rallies/Community Events with over 50,000 attendees
The Public Safety and peacekeeping efforts of CIS were the subject of a 1999 study, funded by the California State Legislature under AB 2650. Conducted by Cal State University at Northridge, it found the peace treaty to be effective in demonstrating peacekeeping strategies and recommended that it be replicated statewide. CIS has been named the “model” program for gang intervention by the State of California, LA County and the City of LA.
A most significant achievement occurred in 2012. After a journey that exceeded eleven years, CIS celebrated the grand opening of our Job Training & Opportunity Center on October 22, 2012. The Center has been a dream since 2001 when CIS first realized the positive impact that having a job had on helping youth continue their education and avoid violence. The Center’s construction was funded by a partnership between the County of Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency and the U. S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Center represents an unprecedented joint partnership between CIS and LA County Probation. Under a ten-year rent-free lease, the brand new CIS Job Training & Opportunity Center sits on County land and houses job training, educational and other support services programs. County Probation officers share the facility with CIS to serve probationary youth, dropouts and their families. CIS will maximize the Probation partnership and relationships to ensure job readiness service delivery for participants is effective, well coordinated and well managed.